It’s the Jordan Love era in Green Bay, and it appears it’s off to a promising start. The Green Bay Packers are 2-1 with a share of the division lead, and Love is coming off an emotional comeback victory, in which he helped erase a 17-point, fourth quarter deficit in front of his home crowd.
But a deeper look into Love’s start to the 2023 season produces some very confusing results. His completion percentage above expected (CPOE) is -9.9%, which is the worst in the NFL. His PFF grade of 65.3 ranks 23rd out of 34 qualifying quarterbacks.
Yet the Packers passing offense is one of the most efficient in the league. Green Bay ranks third in EPA per dropback, and their pass offense ranks second in DVOA. Love is t-sixth in ESPN’s QBR, and his passer rating of 94.7 is a respectable 13th in the NFL.
So what the hell is going on here? Is Love having a good season or a bad one? Is he destined to be another great Packers quarterback, or have there been some concerning issues thus far?
In our Week 4 “First Byte” preview podcast, we chatted with Cheesehead TV’s Dusty Evely to find out a little more about Love and his young career in Green Bay.
“There’s been inconsistencies with routes run, with guys (not) being where they’re supposed to be, and, not to take anything away from Jordan Love, but he had inaccuracy issues in college and he still will show those occasionally now,” Evely said. “The deep ball—he’s been gunning—the deep ball hasn’t been there.”
But the Packers have been able to stay successful due to a some big pass interference penalties. Through three weeks, Green Bay has gained 154 yards of offense on pass interference penalties—more than double the amount of the team in second (Cowboys, 73).
They’ve also been effective in the short-to-intermediate passing game. Despite ranking first in the NFL in intended air yards (10.4)—meaning he’s attempting the farthest passes in the league—Love’s completed air yards (distance on completed throws) is 6.8, seventh in the league.
The Packers also utilize an immense amount of pre-snap motion to help Love with his reads and highlight their speedy receiver group’s strengths.
“(Matt) LaFleur has almost been showing off at some points this year,” Evely said. “Some of his play designs, the motion stuff he’s been doing. It’s a young receiving group, but they’ve got speed, they’ve got guys who’ll attack the ball. So he’s been weaponizing those guys as much as humanly possible, and that’s helped them a ton.
“I know they’re using a ton of play action, but I don’t know where they (rank) in the league. (Pre-snap) motion, I think they’re third in the league right now.”
Other topics on this week’s preview podcast:
- Why is the Packers’ run game so bad?
- Will Aaron Jones, Christian Watson, Jaire Alexander, David Bakhtiari play? If not, how will the Packers survive?
- Can the Detroit Lions defense survive this passing game test after a rebound game vs. the Falcons?
- An injured Taylor Decker vs. Rashan Gary
- Big day for the Lions’ rushing attack?
- Can Packers secondary hold up against efficient Lions passing attack?
Listen to the whole episode below, or catch the entire video replay (with bonus content) on our Twitch page.